Shipping container costs are a big mystery. We’ll tell you just how much containers of different types & sizes cost in different locations. Want an expert consultation on container prices? Learn how 1,700 shipping companies are getting prices daily. 

How much you pay for shipping containers will impact your overall business costs. Whether you’re a freight forwarder, NVOCC, container trader or simply an end-user, you must ensure that you’re paying only the right price for containers.

If you’re buying a new 20ft standard dry container, it’ll cost you anywhere between $1,600 to $3,400, and a new 40ft dry container will cost between $2,500 to $4,500. A new 40ft high cube container’s prices range from $2,500 to $6,000. For a used container, you’ll pay as low as $750 for a 20ft, and $980 for a 40ft, which can go up to $2,000 for a 40ft HC.

Wondering where to get your freight box at such great prices? Look no further, Container xChange helps you find multiple offers from shipping container suppliers in one dashboard. Compare the prices in your location and get the best container deal for you in minutes. Try our public search below to see offers in 2500+ locations:

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    How much is the average cost of shipping containers 

    The price of shipping containers tends to fluctuate on a variety of factors. We’ll learn about these factors later in the blog. But here are some commonly seen shipping container price trends:

    New containers are more expensive than used containers

    The cost of a used shipping container, or cargo-worthy container, is less than a new shipping container. This is because, with time, the container begins to depreciate in condition, value, and subsequently cost. 

    However, the demand for old shipping containers for sale is always strong in the market. As they are cheaper and their corten steel-built ensures that the containers are sturdy enough to keep your cargo safe. You can easily buy a used shipping container under $1,000 in good condition on our container marketplace. 

    Based on container transactions on our container trading platform, here are the average shipping container prices of new vs. used 20ft containers.

    New vs used 20ft container cost 
    New Cargo-worthy WWT As-Is
    $2,147 $1,097 $1,296 $800

    The price for shipping containers will, of course, vary from location to location. But you can know exactly how much are used shipping containers for in your location. See the difference between new and used containers in your location today.

    Bigger containers are more expensive than smaller containers

    As you must know, shipping container sizes and prices are proportional to each other. So, if you have been looking to know how much is a 40 foot shipping container? Then, the answer is — more expensive than a 20 foot storage container.  But cheaper than two 20ft containers. 

    While larger containers are generally more expensive, they offer a better cost-to-capacity ratio, making them more cost-effective if you need a significant amount of storage space.

    For instance, you can buy a cargo-worthy 40 foot storage container in the US at $1,700 on our container trading marketplace. And, the cargo-worthy 20ft shipping container price is just $1,300. While a 20ft container is cheaper, you are getting double the storage capacity with the 40ft container by paying just $400 more. 

    Now, that’s practically a steal!

    Ultimately, your decision should not depend on how much it costs to buy a shipping container. Instead, buy a shipping container based on your specific needs, available space, and budget considerations.

    Based on container transactions on our container trading platform, here are the average shipping container prices of 20ft and 40ft containers: 

    20ft, 40ft and 40ft HC container price
    Container Sizes New  Cargo-worthy WWT
    20ft dry container  $2,147 $1,097 $1,296
    40ft dry container $3,844 $1,534 $1,432
    40ft HC dry container $3,108 $1,627 $1,530

    Please note that the shipping container costs for each of the different sizes will vary based on demand. As you can see from the table above, the demand for new 40ft containers is higher than a new 40ft high cube, and thus, the former is more expensive despite being smaller.

    You can also find many such unique deals on our container trading platform. You can easily buy a cargo-worthy 40ft HC dry container for less than $2,000 on our platform. Plus, you can see multiple such offers, negotiate further, and buy containers at the best prices. See the prices for different containers today.

    Empty shipping containers

    Specialized containers are more expensive than dry containers  

    If you are a project NVOCC specializing in the shipment of out-of-gauge cargo, you’ll know that managing shipping container costs of special containers is not easy. These containers are significantly more expensive than dry containers because of their specialized design, construction, and features.

    For instance, a cargo-worthy 40ft reefer container can cost you between $5,000 to $9,500. Similarly, a cargo-worthy flat-rack container will cost between $3,000 to $8,000.

    Based on container transactions on our container marketplace, here are the average shipping container costs of cargo-worthy special containers such as reefers, flat racks, and open-top containers:

    Special container price (cargo-worthy)
    Container Types 20ft  40ft  40ft HC
    Reefer container $5,112 $6,129 $6,436
    Flat Rack container $1,893 $3,462 $4,785
    Open Top container  $3,717 $4,090 $2,616

    In addition to the above-mentioned special containers, we also have hard-top, pallet-wide, side-door, double-door, 10ft, 10ft HC and 53ft HC containers for sale in 2500+ locations globally. 

    On our container trading marketplace, you get multiple container offers, matching your requirements, in one dashboard. You can browse the listings and compare the ones that fit your needs and budget. Further, negotiate directly with the vetted suppliers and secure deals at 0% commission. 

    Click on the banner below to talk to our region-specific experts who’ll help you find the right container deal for you. Clear all your doubts and get first-hand information from seasoned professionals from the industry.

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    Factors that affect cost of shipping containers

    As you’ve seen, there’s no straight answer to the question: How much is a shipping container? Many factors influence the price of a shipping container. We’ll go over some of the biggest factors below:

    -Container size: As we have seen above, the price varies depending on the box size. In most cases, shipping container cost increases with the size of the box.

    -Container condition: The shipping container cost depends on the condition of the container. Generally, new boxes and one-trip containers are costlier, whereas used containers can be picked up at reasonable prices. We’ll see what are the other benefits of buying old containers later in the blog. 

    -Cost of delivery: Going for the right supplier is important, as delivery fees can add up to more than the container cost itself! Prices vary depending on distance, the number of containers, and delivery time. You should also pay attention to other container charges like goods dues or container storage fees. 

    -Geographical location: The cost of a container depends on supply and demand in a specific geographical location. The current economic situation and the price of steel in a region can have a huge effect on shipping container costs. For instance, shipping container prices in India will vary greatly from shipping container prices in Australia

    Also, take into account whether or not the geographical location you’re looking at is landlocked. Landlocked areas without direct access to the sea mean that transit costs will be higher.

    -Global Events: In 2023, the cost of shipping containers is being impacted by the surplus of containers globally. Since the overall demand is low (due to inflation) and containers are readily available, you can easily procure units at a cheaper price. The trend is set to follow suit in 2024 as well!

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    Cost to move a shipping container

    Now you have an idea of how much does it cost to buy a shipping container. And the factors that will influence it. But besides procurement, you also need to know the cost to ship a shipping container.  

    Again, many factors will influence shipping container transport cost also called freight rates. These are:

    • Distance
    • Route
    • Container size and weight
    • Shipping method
    • Cargo type
    • Shipping line charges 

    According to Freightos’ Global Container Freight Index, the ocean freight rate for a 40ft container is around $1,167. But the rate on specific routes will be different. For instance, the ocean freight rate for China to the West Coast is $1,609, while the rate for the West Coast to China is just $371. 

    Additionally, there will also be trucking freight rates. According to DAT Trendline, it will cost you roughly $2.11 per mile in the USA. 

    Just like the cost of shipping container, the freight rates are also constantly changing. You can keep a track of ocean freight rates on 12 major global trade lanes routes on our pricing data platform: xChange Insights. Our platform is powered by the recent data from Freightos Data, the global freight pricing and market intelligence platform. 

    Check out the latest freight rates for your shipping route now.

    Why buy used shipping containers

    We’ve briefly understood the cost-benefit of buying used shipping containers. But let’s understand in detail why the demand for used containers can be higher than new containers. 

    And most importantly, how much do used shipping containers cost in your location?

    But first, let’s understand why you should buy used shipping containers:

    – Cost-savings: Many buyers with budget constraints opt for used containers. As we’ve seen, they will be significantly cheaper than new ones. Old containers come in good quality and depending on their age and condition, can last up to 5-10 years.

    – Versatility: Used containers are easily adapted for a wide range of purposes. You can use the container for shipping, storage, housing, warehousing, office and much more. Therefore, businesses with versatile use prefer these old containers.

    – Availability: Many container users, fed up with their units racking up high demurrage and detention charges and empty container repositioning costs, readily sell their good quality shipping containers. This makes it possible for container buyers to easily procure older containers at a good bargain. 

    If you want to liquidate your held-up inventory, then sell your containers directly to buyers on our shipping container marketplace. Learn how you can sell your containers in 2,500+ locations at no commission.  

    Used containers

    How much does a used shipping container cost

    The price for a used container will depend on the condition of the container. Here’s when you should but cargo-worthy, WWT, and As-is containers:

    • For international shipping or portable storage, buy cargo-worthy (CW) containers
    • For stationary and portable storage, buy wind and watertight (WWT) containers
    • For scrap, buy As-is containers 

    Based on 40ft container transactions on our trading platform, here’s how much do used shipping containers cost in different countries: 

    40ft used shipping container price
    Countries Cargo-worthy WWT As-is
    US $1,655 $1,450 $1,524
    China $1,335 $1,850 $1,647
    India $1,573 NA $1,300
    UAE $1,961 NA $1,500
    Germany $1,363 $1,476 $1,005

    As you can see from above, the exact shipping container cost varies from location and conditions. But you should be able to get used containers within the range of $1,000 to $2,500. Plus, you can always negotiate and get prices in your budget. In fact, get a 20ft cargo-worthy for as low as $750 on our platform!

    Drawbacks of buying older containers

    There are some disadvantages to buying old containers. Especially, when you are buying your containers via a broker, you cannot be sure of what the end-condition looks like. You should assess your needs before investing, as these containers have the risks of: 

    • Leaks, dents, rust, and slight wear and tear
    • Shorter remaining lifespan compared to new containers that have had one trip or no trip 
    • Requiring more maintenance and repair costs 
    • Limited potential for customization
    • Not meeting the latest industry and compliance standards

    Now, there are some risks associated with buying old containers. But you can minimize these risks by getting all the necessary information firsthand from the supplier on our container marketplace.

    The suppliers on our platform post photos of the units for sale and the Year of Manufacture (YOM) for complete transparency. Plus, you can directly chat with them to confirm all the details about the containers for your complete satisfaction. 

    And most importantly, we offer buyers money-back guarantee. Once your terms are set with a seller, we secure your payment for 7 days to allow you to inspect the container. If you are not satisfied, you will get your money back! 

    Now, let’s look at the process of buying containers on our platform. 

    Steps to buying a shipping container

    So far, we’ve told you how our container marketplace gives you transparency, security, and flexibility on shipping container price in 2,500+ locations. But these are not the only benefits of using our trading marketplace to sell and buy shipping containers

    In a survey conducted by us, 91% container logistics professionals revealed that they spend up to 7 days on trading negotiations. We cut down this cumbersome process to just a few hours. Let’s learn how to buy a shipping container the smart way. 

    Step 1: Decide on your criteria

    Before you start searching for deals, make sure you know exactly what container types and dimensions you want. Once decided, head over to our platform and submit your requirements, including type, size, condition, and location.

    Step 2: Browse 100,000+ container offers

    You’ll then receive multiple offers matching your requirements in one dashboard. Browse and compare the offers, including the prices and choose the one that suits your budget the best.

    Container trading platform

    Step 3: Finalize a deal directly with the supplier

    When you’ve narrowed down on an offer, chat with the supplier directly to negotiate the price. To negotiate better, you can get real-time container prices from xChange Insights for free. When buying shipping containers, you have to be sure of the deal. Use this opportunity to finalize all the terms of the deal. 

    But if you have an urgent requirement, you can bypass negotiations and buy shipping containers instantly by going for Instant Sales Offers (ISO).  Any containers under ISO can be purchased instantly, saving time for both buyers and sellers. As soon as a buyer’s payment is confirmed, they gain immediate access to the release reference, reducing the entire process from weeks or days to only a few clicks.

    Step 4: Make secure payments on the platform 

    Last but not least, you’ll need to make the payment. This is the part that might make you the most nervous but don’t worry. We offer 100% safe payments through xChange Wallet. Plus, as we’ve mentioned before,  we also offer a 7-day money-back guarantee. 

    Finally, have just one monthly invoice and track all of your transactions in one place. 

    Plus, if you have any doubts or concerns, our support team is always happy to help you out at each step of the process. Want to see all this live? Get a free demo today to see all these benefits in action

    Where to buy shipping containers

    If you are often wondering ‘Where can I buy a shipping container’, then look no further. 1,700 companies trust our container trading marketplace to sell and buy shipping containers globally. Whether you’re looking for a high cube shipping container for sale or a specialized reefer container for sale, you can easily get good value for your money with our trading platform.

    Don’t believe us? Listen to what Christian Vostoupal, founder and managing director of Versibox, a container trading company, has to say about xChange: 

    “Before using xChange, I needed to consult several companies myself to find a container. But even if I found some potential partners, there were issues in handling the payments. What I like most is the practicality and speed. And having xChange inter-mediating the payments is also helpful. Because then I know that I will pay and receive the container, and if not, I can rely on xChange to help me with it.”

    In addition to operational efficiency and customer support, xChange also gives you: 

    • 100% transparency on shipping container pricing
    • A network of 1,700 vetted partners with full background checks
    • Digital infrastructure to trade containers in 2,500+ locations
    • 100% safe and secure payments with the xChange Wallet
    • 100,000+ standard and special shipping containers in all conditions, types & sizes

    And most importantly, you get….

    Real-time container price in 180+ locations

    To make sure you buy quality but cheap shipping containers, it’s important to know the real-time shipping container prices. If you are looking for 20ft containers for sale and 40ft containers for sale, then keep track of real-time container prices through xChange Insights. With Insights, you can: 

    • Access real-time dry container prices in 180+ locations globally 
    • Identify the best cities to buy, sell or lease equipment, 
    • Make a good deal even in a new market, and
    • Maximize your profits

    Shipping containers for sale on xChange at 0% commission 

    You no longer have to wonder how much does a shipping container cost. Now, you know how to access prices for shipping containers and use them to buy containers. You can do all of this with xChange — without using any broker.

    Many members are using the platform to unlock buying opportunities overseas. Without investing in any business development, you can cross borders and trade internationally.

    Learn how James Grunky from Grunsky Trading expanded his business to now conduct 95% of his operations via xChange.

    “xChange has been a massive help in helping me find containers all over the world. Not just find them, but the flexibility to move or trade them from one point of the world to another is amazing.”

    We work with some of the biggest names in the industry, and so can you. Once you’re a member, you’ll have access to Florens, Seaco Global, Kuehne + Nagel, and Cosco to name just a few. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small or a big player, anyone can work with anyone, right from the get-go. What’s more? We don’t charge any commission on your deals. 

    Want to get containers at the best prices? Sign up for a free demo with one of our friendly experts today. Finding containers at competitive prices is just a banner click away.

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    Shipping container cost: Common FAQs

    What is the cost of a 40ft shipping container?

    The cost of a 40ft container will depend on the location, current supply and demand, and the condition of the box. In the US, you’re looking at around US $1,848 for a cargo-worthy container, and in India around $1,536.

    How much does a shipping container cost?

    The cost of a container will completely depend on the size and condition you’re looking for. For a standard cargo-worthy 20ft box, you’re looking at an average price of around $1,120 and for a 40ft container, around $1,848.

    What is the price of a 20ft container?

    The average price for a cargo-worthy 20ft container in the US is $1,120. In China it will cost $1,200 and in Europe it will cost around $900. The prices vary from one location to another.

    What is the size of a standard shipping container?

    The two most common sizes are the 20ft and the 40ft containers. The 20ft container is 5.9m / 19.4ft in length, 2.3m / 7.8ft in internal width and 2.3m / 7.9ft in height. The 40ft container is 12m / 39.5ft in length, 2.4m / 7.9ft in internal width and 2.3m / 7.9ft in height.